Friday, February 9, 2018

Simple Tips for an Awesome Underwater Photography Experience

This is a sponsored post, but the opinons are, as usual, my own.

If after three months of never ending cold and darkness, winter looks like an unbereable burden, think positive: there is always summer o'clock somewhere in the world. If you have enough savings and a flexible job, you can book now a glamorous holiday in a sunny place where you can let yourself wrapped in the warm light of the sun and eventually some underwater unique experiences too. For those tempted to go one further step with their underwater experiences, I partnered with the UK top scuba retailer Simply Scuba, bringing to you some simple tips for an awesome underwater photography experience. The tips are aimed at complete beginners. I used for illustration of the post a selection of underwater camera photos available on the site. For those unsure how to use all of those sophisticated objects, they are provided with simple videos explaining the basic technical capabilities for each. 

Sealife Micro 2 PRO 1500 SET

What I personally love the most when looking at underwater photography is that the images are revealing a special world mostly hidden to our eyes and senses. Most of us we have the experience of looking at an Aquarium or various documentaries about the world under the water surface, but actually being there and being part of it might be one of the most special experiences for the humans. Like in the case of skydiving, the human body is under the pressure of unknown and unfamiliar forces, experiencing unique sensations and witnessing worlds that for most of us, most of the time remain sealed. It takes a grain of courage to go beyond your physical limits.
BEKAM 4k Camera
Even if you are an experienced photographer in the 'normal' world, underwater photography creates different challenges, Water is an environment which absorbes colours - some more than the others, such as yellow, orange or red - and the deeper you dive the more colours are absorbed. Most underwater photos do look so blue because of that and using a flash for photography is more than necessary. The internal flashes of the compact cameras are therefore aim to bring back the colours our everyday human eyes are used with to the pictures. When you are using a flash, set your camera to auto white-balance, or when you don't, set your camera to underwater mode. 

Know your environment

Another effect of water on photos is that it reduces sharpness, color and contrast and when you are taking the picture you have to get very close to your subject, preferable within one meter of the camera or even closer.
Sea Dragon 2500 Photo-Video Light
Shooting at eye level allows to get the best of your subject and when it comes to banks of fish, it may reveal a beauty that for most of us remains unpalpable. Photographing from above may in fact diminish some details of the subject. In general terms, lightning through water is completely different of the air, due among others to the different refractive index. One of the effects is that objects may appear 25% larger than in real life. Therefore, it is a matter of experience and probably many failed photos until you will figure out how close to be to a subject for getting the right angle and the best of details. 
But in order to be able to fully experience all those great moments, you have first and foremost to feel exactly like a fish in the water. It means to have to have some good hours of diving behind you, where you got familiar with all the challenges of the underwater life or the water pressure and know what the best angles could be. Like in the normal photography, knowing your environment and its main features will help you to create vibrant photos telling unique stories, even if it is in an unknown language. 
Those are only a couple of details aimed to give you an idea about what underwater photography means. If you really want to do something completely new and unique this year, by starting to take underwater photos, you may start by taking some online classes and get in touch with an expert which will help you not only to figure out the main challenges, but also to get the best tools for an awesome photography experience. 

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